Madison County Associate Judge Steve Stobbs was assigned to a class action lawsuit against Madison County over delinquent tax sales handled by former Madison County treasurer Fred Bathon.

Bathon, 58, who was treasurer from November 1998 until December 2009, pled guilty Feb. 5 in federal court to violating the Sherman Antitrust Act. He was convicted of structuring Madison County property tax sales in a way that increased prices and rewarded campaign contributors.

Chief Judge Ann Callis reassigned the case from Circuit Judge William Mudge to Stobbs on March 7.

Mudge filed an order Feb. 22, stating he was required to recuse himself from the case due to his former representation of Madison County within the preceding three years while serving in his capacity as Madison County State’s Attorney.

St. Jacob attorney John Barberis and Collinsville lawyer Steve Giacoletto filed the class action lawsuit Feb. 21 on behalf of property owners who allege they suffered financial losses in relation to delinquent tax sale auctions administered by Madison County officials from 2005-2009.

Barberis and Giacoletto, named Madison County, Bathon, and individuals linked to the tax sale as defendants, including John Vassen, Dennis Ballinger, Robert Luken, John Scott, Scott McClean and Edward Beasley.

Madison County case number 13-L-276.

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